2010.06.26 19:00 - Time for New Ways of Play...?

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Pema Pera. The comments are by Pema Pera.

    stevenaia Michinaga: hi pema
    Pema Pera: hi Steve!
    stevenaia Michinaga: good to see you
    Pema Pera: same here!
    Pema Pera: and wow, quite a bit of discussion on the email group, in just a few days . . . .

    I was refering to a lenghty recent email exchange about the pros and cons of putting a log of all of our sessions on the web.

    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    Pema Pera: I didn't realize what I was missing, while traveling just for a couple nights :-)
    stevenaia Michinaga: you know how things can take on a life of their own here
    Pema Pera: yes, and I'm very glad to see discussions about the approach we are taking
    stevenaia Michinaga: must be the recent full moon
    Pema Pera: it's always a good idea to come back and critically look at our basic patterns
    Pema Pera: hahaha, who knows?
    stevenaia Michinaga: I suspect Pila would agree
    Pema Pera: and to see whether the original reasons for adopting them still hold, and to what extent we would like to experiment with alternatives
    stevenaia Michinaga: good things weighty topics occur so rarely
    Pema Pera: and we've certainly started to experiment a lot in the last half year already, more than ever before I think:
    Pema Pera: the Village Hall, the various exhibits, the voice-sessions by Yaku, Liza's extra meditation sessions . . . .
    stevenaia Michinaga: :), it does create an atmosphere of freshness
    Pema Pera: yes!!
    stevenaia Michinaga: it can be unfortunate that these very detail discussions and topical opinions also take their toll
    Pema Pera: in which way?
    stevenaia Michinaga: some get a bit overwhelmed
    stevenaia Michinaga: .... For myself I need to say, with my tremendous fatigue, the striking and replacing, if that starts to happen more often, is actually a reason not to pick up that many open slots anymore. Not because I'm not prepared to do the work, but just because that would be too much on me. ...
    Pema Pera: good point
    stevenaia Michinaga: shades of Rowan

    Steve was refering to a previous episode in which we had a similar discussion, one and a half year or so ago.

    Pema Pera: we definitely should not complicate things more
    Pema Pera: did you mention that in the email discussion?
    Pema Pera: it's a fair and very valid point!
    stevenaia Michinaga: no, just what I read
    Pema Pera: please do mention that, we should not lose sight of the practical dimension too
    stevenaia Michinaga: I just saw what Cal sent a second ago
    stevenaia Michinaga: "I have fatigue too, but the minority viewpoints have been voiced, and the majority viewpoints hopefully reaffirmed"
    stevenaia Michinaga: feel free to edit these group email quotes out... grins
    Pema Pera: hehehe
    Pema Pera: nono, I'm happy to be open about all this
    Pema Pera: my guess is that tomorrow's meeting can make a closure for now, and a decision of what to do or not to do
    Pema Pera: Hi Calvino!
    stevenaia Michinaga: nods, I hope it's to the point, whatever happens
    stevenaia Michinaga: hi Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: Hello Steve, Pema !
    Pema Pera: Hi Calvino! Just IMed you the previous ten minutes of text, since we started
    Pila Mulligan: greetings Pema, Cal and Steve
    Calvino Rabeni: Good to see you, Pila
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Pila
    Pema Pera: Hi Pila!

    Pila joined us, and changed the topic to physics.

    Pila Mulligan: nice to see you all also
    Pila Mulligan: I have a question for Pema about time :)
    Pema Pera: shoot!
    Pila Mulligan: in a recent chat log you mentioned that space-time was a theme of the past century, if I understod correctly
    Pila Mulligan: what is replacing it?
    Pema Pera: nobody knows yet
    Pema Pera: that 's the excitement of exploration in general
    Pema Pera: including scientific research
    Pema Pera: it's like exploring a city -- finding out you too the wrong turn, and then searching for a better way
    Pila Mulligan: is a theme or theory emerging in that regard -- i.e. a space-time idea evolution
    Pema Pera: spacetime is a very powerful concept, and there to stay as a good approximation, but it can't be the final word
    Pema Pera: it is too static, it's a classical concept, not a quantum concept
    Pema Pera: so quantum mechanics doesn't fit in it, we need a wider concept
    Pema Pera: attempts are string theory, and a few others along somewhat similar lines
    Pema Pera: whether any of them will succeed, nobody knows :)
    Pema Pera: of course the answer may come from an as yet totally unexpected corner
    Pila Mulligan: thanks, it is an interetsing thought
    stevenaia Michinaga: doesn;t that make everyone crazy?
    Pema Pera: crazy like in being very excited?
    Pema Pera: like in love with a person or a project ?-)
    Pema Pera: then yes!
    stevenaia Michinaga: crazy like knowing there must be an answer but not knowing where?
    Pema Pera: yes, but all of research is like that

    And that uncertainty is both the excitement and the frustration of doing research.

    Pila Mulligan: quantum entanglement, if I understand it, seems to play nicely with time vis a vis space: items responding simultaneously even at a great distance
    Pema Pera: yes, definitely entanglement hasn't found the right language to be expressed in
    Pema Pera: when something sounds mysterious, when expressed in words, it means you didn't find the right words
    stevenaia Michinaga: must be what the energy that drives scientific inquiry
    Pema Pera: like "the Tao" sounds very mysterious -- but once you're familiar with Taoism, it takes on a life of its own :-)
    stevenaia Michinaga: (strike what)
    Pema Pera: yes, and any inquiry!
    Pema Pera: strike?
    Pila Mulligan: “spooky action at a distance”
    Pema Pera: yes
    stevenaia Michinaga: "what" shouldn;t have been in there
    Pema Pera: spooky 'cause it doesn't fit in classical language
    Pema Pera: strike the what in strike what :-)
    Pema Pera: ah, in the previous sentence -- gotcha :-)
    Pema Pera: I thought "strike!"
    Pema Pera: (just got up, still earliesh for me)
    stevenaia Michinaga: on of the problems with correcting typos in later text
    stevenaia Michinaga: *one
    Pema Pera: hehehe, and problems are opportunities -- like biological mutations, leading in new directions!

    After our confusion about "what" has been sorted out, we return to entanglement.

    Pila Mulligan: one of Krishna's comments in the Bhagavad Gite: "The steadily devoted soul attains unadulterated peace because he offers the result of all activities to Me; whereas a person who is not in union with the Divine, who is greedy for the fruits of his labor, becomes entangled."
    Pila Mulligan: as oyu may know, entanglement is a word of art in Hindu lore
    Pila Mulligan: all us litle quantum souls entangled and jangling together
    Pema Pera: yes, that kind of entanglement, as quoted from the Gita, is not very positive
    Pila Mulligan: I believe the expansion on the subject led Krishna to explain entanglement in terms of the gunas, something Bolonath has talked about before -- gunas benig the three elemental strings that combine to create Being
    Pema Pera: in quantum mechanics, I think "entanglement" is a misnomer; "unified" or "already connected" or "part of the same unity" would be more accurate. Only after applying the wrong language do you concluded that (in a limited classical view) quantum systems `seem' to be entangled . . . .
    Calvino Rabeni: In theory, is entanglement a property at the quantum scale, or is there some meaningful sense in which large aggregates are entangled with others ?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, I agree with that phrasing, Pema
    Calvino Rabeni: I just think, - correlated
    Pila Mulligan: more affectionate than clumsy :)
    Pema Pera: and yes, it is a very interesting direction to try to see "entanglement" as an expression of a deeper unity, not unlike what Hinduism for example is talking about
    Pema Pera: and perhaps even more than correlated
    Pema Pera: my face and nose are not entangled
    Pema Pera: and more than "correlated"
    Pema Pera: they are part of the same body :)
    Pema Pera: only if I begin by considering them in complete isolation am I surprised that they alway hang around together
    Pila Mulligan: even when separated :)
    Calvino Rabeni: yessss
    Pila Mulligan: it makes me think of beam me up Scotty
    Calvino Rabeni: which is a pretty artificial starting point
    Pila Mulligan: transfer the body here to there
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Pila Mulligan: well, I can't wait to see what becomes of it all
    Pema Pera: yes, it's all very exciting!

    Calvino switches to astrophysics.

    Calvino Rabeni: Have you been looking at neutrino astronomy? That seems exciting, if it really works
    Pema Pera: it's coming of age, slowly
    Pema Pera: the next step is gravitational wave astronomy
    Pema Pera: not yet there, but just around the corner, it seems
    Calvino Rabeni: amazing
    Pema Pera: and on a conceptual level, new mathematical structures, like perhaps category theory, may help discover more unity
    Pema Pera: like the paper I mentioned earlier (math.ucr.edu/home/baez/rosetta.pdf)
    Pila Mulligan: wiki: 'LIGO operates two gravitational wave observatories in unison ... These sites are separated by 3,002 kilometers (1,865 miles). Since gravitational waves are expected to travel at the speed of light, this distance corresponds to a difference in gravitational wave arrival times of up to ten milliseconds. "
    Pila Mulligan: "Through the use of triangulation, the difference in arrival times can determine the source of the wave in the sky."
    Pema Pera: yes, that's the idea
    Pema Pera: any day now!
    Calvino Rabeni: So there is a rosetta stone that seeks to unify various theories by reference to something more abstract - is that it with category theory?
    Pema Pera: footnote: during the forty years since I was a freshman, people have hoped to detect gravitational waves "any day now" :-)
    Calvino Rabeni: Kind of like finding a more basic theory, rather than just a set of correlations between 4 other theories?
    Calvino Rabeni: Like fusion energy is always 20 years away
    Pila Mulligan: :)

    What physicists call "unification" is the process of starting with seemingly dissimilar phenomena, and discovering an underlying unity that always already had been there; unification is a bit of a misnomer in that sense: what is unified is our understanding of the phenomena while nature is unified already.

    Pema Pera: it's like looking at electricity and magnetism, which on the level of phenomena at first seem very different
    Pema Pera: but then when you express the mathematical equations in more and more compact and abstract way, similarities begin to appear
    Pema Pera: not imposed similarities, but unexpected parallels in structure
    Pema Pera: until you realize that electromagnetism is one beautiful unity
    Pema Pera: and e and m just looked different from accidental reasons
    Pila Mulligan: maybe the mind is too obsessed with separating things
    Pema Pera: such as there being electric charge but no magnetic charge
    Pema Pera: yes, our ordinary mind works by cutting things apart, in "bite size" :-)
    Calvino Rabeni: hmmm,I was wondering, how committed is the scientific worldview to an assumption, that might not be really provable, that reality is actually fairly simple if only we could understand it - rather than being in some way irreduceably complex ?
    Calvino Rabeni: Is it a foundational aesthetic choice, or is there some other way to frame that question?
    Pema Pera: in general, the whole thrust of physics has been toward simplicity
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, ...it helps sometimes
    Calvino Rabeni: but is it fundamental
    Pema Pera: I think Einstein once said "make it as simple as possible, but not simpler" :)
    Calvino Rabeni: RIght, and on what basis can one decide that
    Pema Pera: it's called physical intuition
    Pema Pera: the basis of physics is intuition -- rationality is what happens at the check-out counter
    Pila Mulligan: simpler than possible: a wheel without an axle :)
    Calvino Rabeni: This seems like a pragmatic question - to focus on the simpler things, because basically they will be more tractable
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Pema Pera: sure, that too
    Calvino Rabeni: On the other hand, more and more science and technology come up on various complexity barriers

    Steve brings up an interesting parallel with architecture.

    stevenaia Michinaga: from a design background, simplicity takes the most work
    Pema Pera: but . . . the very fact that we can find a simplicity in this whole buzzing world of seeming complexity is really aweseom
    Calvino Rabeni: yes after a more complex synthesis
    Pema Pera: awesome
    stevenaia Michinaga: nyes
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Pema Pera: all electrons are exactly alike, same mass, charge, etc . . . not like stars or planets who are all different
    Pema Pera: that was a shocking discovery!
    Calvino Rabeni: Indeed
    Calvino Rabeni: And I like that word "who"
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Ewan and Lucinda!
    Pila Mulligan: hi Lucinda
    Calvino Rabeni: Hello Cinda !
    Pila Mulligan: Hi Ewan
    Lucinda Lavender: HI Cal, Pila Steve, Ewan...
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    Pema Pera: That was a fascinating dream circle session, the other day, Lucinda!

    Lucinda connects our starting discussion in this session, to log or not to log, with her earlier log dream :-)

    Lucinda Lavender: Yes! I was thinking about it again today when I was remembering that the boy in my dream was hit by a log!
    Calvino Rabeni: heheh - ouch!
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: not a chat log?
    Lucinda Lavender: that is what I was pondering...
    Pema Pera: perfect connection with the recent email :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Dreams might sometimes not be above using puns
    Lucinda Lavender: knocked out...and I called 911!
    Calvino Rabeni: for communication
    Pema Pera: :-)
    stevenaia Michinaga: laughs
    Calvino Rabeni: :)) need some comic relief :)
    Lucinda Lavender: yes..was thinking the same
    Pema Pera: (^_^)
    Lucinda Lavender: :)
    Pila Mulligan: did yo get a response in the dream?
    Lucinda Lavender: I can handle the wildness I said at the end...
    Pema Pera wondering about the expression "at loggerheads" . . . .
    Lucinda Lavender: yes!
    Pema Pera: indeed, all the dreams that we reported had an open and positive way of dealing with disturbances
    Lucinda Lavender: I sometimes learn in time new ways to look at the dreams
    Lucinda Lavender: yes
    Lucinda Lavender: dreamt in a spirit of care and consideration it seemed
    Lucinda Lavender: time for new ways of play...?

    And so the title of this session was born.

    Pema Pera: :-)
    Pila Mulligan: two nights ago I dreamed I was called back to the Navy, and after the initial interveiw, where I told the guy my age and hearing difficulty, I would up in a room with a bunch of geezers in similar cirsumstance
    Pila Mulligan: they were going to take care of us :)
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Pema Pera: what happened then?
    Pila Mulligan: I thought that was nice .. we just sat around like an old foks home
    Lucinda Lavender: lovely...
    Calvino Rabeni: Calvino Rabeni returns from getting rasberries off a vine behind the house - aren't summer and urban farms good together :)
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pema Pera: pass some along, please, Calvino!
    Calvino Rabeni: if I could ... :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yesterday it was fresh cherries someone had
    Lucinda Lavender: lovely images of gruit to share...
    Lucinda Lavender: fruit
    Calvino Rabeni: This is where that transporter beam would be useful, Pila :)
    Pila Mulligan: ;)
    Lucinda Lavender: today my neighbor brought me deep fried banana...vietnamese...
    Pila Mulligan: yummy
    Pila Mulligan must slip away, nice to see everyone -- bye for now
    Pema Pera looks around for neighbors like that . . . .
    Pema Pera: bye Pila
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye Pila
    Lucinda Lavender: bye Pila
    Lucinda Lavender: this neighbor brings many foods...
    Lucinda Lavender: so I am learning about it and sharing language skills
    Pema Pera: what language does your neighbor use?
    Lucinda Lavender: vietnamese..a family
    Lucinda Lavender: so interesting...and the flavors are so complex
    Pema Pera is now really looking forward to lunch :-)

    And indeed, it was time for me to leave as well.

    Lucinda Lavender: I share also the childcare knowlege since they have opened a home daycare.
    stevenaia Michinaga: :) I must be going, night
    Lucinda Lavender: Good night Steve:)
    Calvino Rabeni: Good night
    Pema Pera: night Steve!
    Lucinda Lavender: what might the lunch be Pema?
    Pema Pera: don't know yet
    Pema Pera: Japanese, something tells me
    Pema Pera: (I'm in Kyoto right now)
    Lucinda Lavender: :)
    Lucinda Lavender: dinner time for me...
    Pema Pera: and actually, I do have to take off for that reason
    Pema Pera: Bye Luci and Cal !
    Calvino Rabeni: Well then, goodbye Pema and Cinda
    Lucinda Lavender: bye Pema..:)
    Lucinda Lavender: :)

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